Charles Dickens was born in 1812 near Portsmouth. The Christmas Books was first published in a single volume in 1852, bringing together five stories, which Charles Dickens had written especially for the Christmas season, beginning in 1843 with A Christmas Carol. Over the next three years, Dickens published The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, and The Battle of Life. There was no story in 1847 but a fifth, The Haunted Man, appeared in 1848.
"It is no small task to condense one of Dickens's most beloved and
frequently retold stories from 400 pages into a mere 88 while
maintaining the major plot developments. However, remarkably, this
graphic novel version is generally a success. . . . Owing to the
minor violence and complexity of Dickens's plot twists, this would
be suitable for middle school students who like darker stories;
think A Series of Unfortunate Events for older readers." --
"I highly recommend Campfire's comics. They do what they are intended to do and do it in a way that excites kids about classic literature." -- Chris Wilson, The Graphic Classroom (a resource for teachers and librarians)
This latest adaptation of Oliver Twist by two established French comic creators is a compilation edition of five previously published graphic novels that chronicles the orphan boy's trials through the streets of London and his eventual discovery of his parentage. Dauvillier's text choices are easy to read and flow well, and while the adaptors retained Dickens's original chapter summaries for the table of contents, the back matter, unfortunately, offers only a single-page biography and short time line of Dickens's life. Compared with other graphic novel adaptations, this version is more fully developed; it provides readers both familiar and unfamiliar with the story a clearer integration of the many narrative threads. Oliver Deloye's illustrations are done in an exaggerated, caricature style and are an interesting juxtaposition with the serious plot and realism from the original serialized novel. Verdict While there is some violence, such as Nancy's murder at Bill Sykes's hands, teenage readers and up wanting a Twist adaptation would find this edition an involving read that doesn't oversimplify the plot and retains some of Dickens's passion for the plight of the poor.-Joanna Schmidt, Forth Worth, TX (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 6 Up-This adaptation is well done. The pictures and panels match the tone of the story of one orphan boy's struggle to survive, and the text maintains enough of the classic for readers to understand Oliver's plight. Readers will especially like the character portraits on the inside and back covers. The art clearly defines the difference between good and evil in the story. This version opens the readership to a younger or reluctant reader audience as Dickens is long and challenging for many students.-Jessica Lorentz Smith, BendSenior High School, OR (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.